If you are truly committed to growing your business online, you will need a content marketing strategy. An important part of any content marketing strategy is maintaining a regular content publishing schedule.
So … what happens to your content publishing schedule if you have to step away for a while?
WordPress has a really cool feature that allows you to postdate or backdate posts. This is a very useful feature that lots of WP users haven’t discovered yet. In this article, we will show you how to schedule WordPress posts.
Publishing new content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive new visitors to your site and keep your blog readers returning for more.
There are instances, however, where you don’t necessarily want your content to show immediately.
For example, here are some instances where you may not want blog posts to go live as soon as it has been added to the WordPress CMS:
- You need to travel but you still want to publish articles on your blog while you’re away.
- You would like to remove an already published post and automatically republish it at a specific time and date later.
- You would like to start publishing a daily update with the latest news about a certain subject for your blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You’d like them to receive your new post every day at the same time, but this would require you to get up between 3 and 4 am to hit the “publish” button.
- You set aside one day every week to create a whole week’s worth of content for your site, or you outsource your content creation to freelance writers who send you dozens of articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You launch an online training course and would like to “drip-feed” content to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of posts to your site at once, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your readers so that only one new post gets published each day, or week, or every few days?
You could then implement a “set and forget” system for scheduling and publishing fresh content to your site that would keep your visitors regularly engaged, and be free to grow other areas of your business … or go away for a while and know that your content marketing strategy is still working for you while you’re gone.
Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date in the future to publish your posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish these on the exact dates and times that you have specified.
In this tutorial, you will learn a couple of ways to schedule WP posts to publish at a later date/time, as well as some great tips for automating scheduled articles.
Go through the tutorial below to learn how to schedule blog posts in WordPress.
How To Schedule WP Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can easily alter the date/time of your published blog posts, including setting dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add posts to your website, which can then be prescheduled to display live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule posts to publish at a later date with the Quick Edit function when viewing a list of all your existing posts, or you can schedule them when working on existing blog posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule WP blog posts using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WordPress admin area and click on Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
In the Posts section, find the Post you want to edit, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Section – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit inline editor expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Inline Editor Section)
Locate the “Date” feature …
(Quick Edit – Date And Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to easily edit the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields or selecting options from the dropdown date menu …
(Edit date & time of your Post)
Useful Tip: You can schedule posts in WordPress in the future or backdate post dates to show content as having been published prior to its original date of publication.
This is quite useful if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your experiences and would like your post dates to show as having been posted on the actual dates you’ve been physically absent. Another great use for backdating your blog posts would be to give a brand new website a little bit more of an “established” look. Likewise, you can set all posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new blog at a future time.
Change the date of your post to whatever date (and/or time) you would like it to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Schedule your posts to publish at a later date)
Note: To schedule a post as being published in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour clock. For example, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the Schedule Post area. The time your post will actually end up being published depends on the location settings specified in your Settings > General area.
Click Update to save your new settings …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your new settings)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts section …
Your post status will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status section …
(‘Scheduled’ post status)
Scheduling Posts In WordPress When Adding / Editing Posts
If you are creating a new post, you can schedule your post to publish at a future date and time, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Publish section – Publish immediately > Edit)
Change the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date & time)
Don’t forget to click Schedule to save your post settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to save your settings)
Tip: To backdate a blog post, simply edit the date before you click Publish, as described above. In this case, the button will not change to Schedule.
Your post is now scheduled for publishing on the date and time you have set …
(Post schedule notification)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule your post to be republished in the future by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: function …
(Post publish box – Edit)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date and time settings)
Remember to click the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
Your post should now show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish box …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts screen …
(Posts table – Date column)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, we’ll show you how to republish WP posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
Republishing A WP Post
In some instances, you may decide to republish an old post. If you do, there are a few options you can choose:
Edit Post Date And Time
You can reschedule your post by editing the date and the time the post was published. Enter a new date and time and click Schedule.
When the scheduled time arrives, the post will jump from its current position in your timeline to the most recent spot on your blog and display the new date and time. The link for the post will also be updated to reflect the new publication date.
Note: When you reschedule a post, it will not redistribute to your email subscribers. If you want the post to be redistributed to your email subscribers, use the option below.
Edit Post Status
You can republish your post simply by changing the status of your post to Draft, clicking Update, and then clicking Publish again …
(Republish your post)
When you do this, the post will automatically be re-sent to your subscribers. However, the publication date and time will remain the same, so the post’s link and position in the timeline will remain unmodified.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your blog, you can just use the “sticky” feature …
(Tick box to make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Unscheduling A WordPress Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a WordPress post to be published in the future, but then change your mind and decide to publish it immediately, simply return to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
In the Publish section, click on the “Edit” link next to the date your post is scheduled to publish:
(Post publish section – Edit)
Now, just enter today’s date and time (tip: if you’re not sure of the exact time just type in an hour or two earlier than the current time showing on your clock) as your scheduled post time and click OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will now publish immediately …
(Publish box – Status: ‘Published’)
Troubleshooting Scheduled Posts
If your scheduled post did not publish when the scheduled time arrived, check the following:
- Is your timezone set correctly in your Settings > General section?
- Check your Post Status. Did you save the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you remember to click the “Schedule” button after changing the date/time? For the post to publish, you must click the Schedule button.
- Did you schedule too many posts for publishing? Are you using bulk post scheduling plugins to queue up thousands of posts? Depending on the resources of your web server, you could experience problems. If so, try lowering the number of scheduled items and see if this solves the problem.
Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin For WordPress)
Queue Posts is a free WP plugin that allows you to place new posts and pages in a queue for publishing later.
When you create a new post or page, you have the option of queuing it for publishing later …
(Post Publish Box – Post Queue)
This is great if you are scheduling various posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a certain order, or at certain times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more details, go here:
Bulk Scheduling Posts
There are a number of plugins that let you “autopost” content (adding content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(Auto Post Scheduler – WordPress Plugin)
Auto Post Scheduler is a free plugin that will schedule ‘auto post checks’ to publish new posts and/or recycle old posts automatically.
Use a plugin like Auto Post Scheduler to publish new posts and/or recycle old posts automatically. There’s no need to schedule post times individually and recycling old posts keeps your site looking fresh.
This plugin is especially useful if you plan to import a large number of blog posts, as you can set the Auto Post Scheduler to publish posts at whatever frequency you choose as well as specify a range of other settings …
(AutoPost Scheduler Options)
To learn more, visit their website here: AutoPost Scheduler Plugin For WordPress
Although you may not want to use all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WPRobot includes a module that allows you to bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WP Robot – WP Plugin)
For more details, go here: WPRobot – WordPress Autoposting Software
If you plan to run a membership-style website, most professional WordPress membership plugins allow you to schedule your content to be ‘drip-fed’ to members at intervals that you specify (e.g. every 7 days, etc.).
To learn more about membership plugins that allow you to schedule content delivery, go here:
Fixing “Missed Schedule” Posts
Sometimes WordPress will miss a scheduled post …
To learn how to fix the missed post scheduling issue, see the tutorial below:
Congratulations, now you know how to schedule WP blog posts to publish at a later date.
"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum